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"Transcript - Jeffrey Klare - Hired Disability Solutions" 


 

Brian Therrien:   Good Day, this is Brian Therrien.  I am here today with Jeff Klare from Hire Disability Solutions.  The nation’s leader in bringing together the top companies and qualified men and women with disabilities and Jeff it’s a pleasure to have you here.  Thanks for taking the time.

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Thank you Brian.

Brian Therrien:    Great.  I know that this if a very important topic of people out there.  People with disabilities looking for great jobs and income opportunities.  We’re anxious to spend some time with you, but before we get started and get into it.  We’d like to learn a little bit more about you Jeff and what you’ve been doing.  I know that you’ve been working in this area for a long time.  Maybe you could just tell us a little bit about your background and how long you have been putting people with disabilities to work.

Jeffrey S. Klare:    I’ve been in the human resource fields for, oh probably over twenty years now.  This really became an issue of employing people with disabilities came to the forefront when a young lady called me the president of her company credit union and said that due to her disability she felt that was not, her newly found disability, that she was not really being considered there same way she was prior to the disability.  In taking with her supervisors about it.  I was in human resources at the time and the young lady was President of her companies credit union.  This was in the late eighties and she discussed with me that she was HIV positive and discussed this with her supervisors.  I had informed her that I didn’t know much about the issue of HIV in the workplace back then, but I would try to learn as much as I could and get back to her.  Unfortunately, she took a health turn for the worst and then eventually passed away, that was my sister Brian. We created this company as her dream.  We did a research project and that project was basically to discuss with corporations their interest of hiring people with disabilities.  Again this was late eighties, 1989 or 1990 that we did this project.  We looked at the different aspects of employment and where did corporations find their people from. Whether it was temporary employment agencies, executive search firms or what have you and the end result was that the determination that people with disabilities were not being actively recruited.  My sisters dreams was to create a safe haven for them to discuss the disability to look at what the solution was to the disability and the employment picture would be.  So that’s how the company was born and we went forward from there.

Brian Therrien:    Wow.

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Haven’t looked back sense. 

Brian Therrien:    Good for you.  That’s powerful, thanks for sharing that.  I know that I went into Google and I put in your name and it spit out a bunch of stuff.  I learned that you’ve done a variety of things in this industry.  Could you just touch on a few for the audience out there?  Some of the speaking work that you’ve done and the other things that you do to move forward this cause.

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Well, you know, I try to limit what I do to things that really make a difference.  One of the things that I’ve done is speak at the Columbia School of Business, with the MBA program through their potential graduates that are going to come out of the school with a MBA and go into the world of business and try to make their mark.  One of the things that they did was Professor Schulman, who ran this program, was to give all the kids in the class a chance to live the life of a person with a disability for 24 hours.  So they either selective blindness or dearness or a wheelchair and then went out there and tried to do a days worth of their days routine and they found that that routine was no longer just the way it was the day before.  It was much more difficult and they had to put themselves in the position of the consumer and how they saw the world from their eyes as they went out to spend money and if the stores were accessible or the movie theatres were accessible.  Customer service areas, how was the service delivered to people with disabilities.  How did retail stores communicate with the deaf population or deal with the issue of guide dogs in a retail environment and that was a very, very instrumental piece of making our business leaders of the future that people with disabilities do count and do have a very large spending income and we need to address the fact that we need consumers and we need as business to attract peoples dollars and if you don’t include them, they will go away.

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.  Interesting.  Now, I’m really curious about this learned from you, and also found in another piece of reading, that Jeff Klare is commonly asked to speak at events, but not commonly invited back.  So, tell us why that is.

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Well, it’s pretty simple.  The truth is the truth and I am here I run a for profit business. We’re not here to do window dressings.  You go down the block at Christmas time and you look in all the store windows and you see these things that are there for seven, ten, twenty days and then disappear.  And people with disabilities are not going away and we need to hear the real deal.  The people that I basically I serve, are the consumers with disabilities that are looking for jobs and they need to know the truth.

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Whether you’re on someone s baloney meter or you’re not doing the right thing for your own employees, please need to know that.

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

Jeffrey S. Klare:    We are here to applaud those companies that are doing the right thing and doing great things.  But those who aren’t, well, I cant chance that.  You need to be able to point them in the right direction, but ultimately they make their own choices.

Brian Therrien:    Jeff Klare, what you see is what you get.

Jeffrey S. Klare:    You know, the truth in that.  There is truth in every aspect of their lives and we need to make sure that those who are out there can make a difference and choose to make a difference. 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

Jeffrey S. Klare:    One of the things I do when I lecture, you know, you talk about the woman  who is walking down the street with the child in hand and they come across the man in the wheelchair strolling up the block and the child points and says “Mommy, what’s what?”  and the mother grabs the kid by the wrist and says “don’t be rude, don’t point.”  When all the child wanted to do was be a little curious and to engage the person in the wheelchair and say “what’s that?”  and is it comfortable and is it nice to take a ride?  How fast does it go?  But we pretend that it is a bad thing and that kid grows up to think that people with disabilities are not good in our society and that’s what I want to change.

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Children get the message that accepting people that are different is ok. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.  Perfect.  Now, one last thing before we move on, you were asked, let me make sure that I understand this correctly.  You were asked to sit on the board that was going to go through and revise the Social Security Disability - Ticket to Work Program.

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Yes, it was the Social Security Advisory board to revamp the Ticket to Work Program.

Brian Therrien:    Okay. And, you declined that, which is a nice gesture that they asked you, but tell the audience why you did.

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Well, I went to the first meeting in Washington, D.C. and what I found was, it was the same old players complaining about the same old problems, there was no major employers at that meeting, which that meeting should have focused on and change doesn’t happen quickly enough.  I run a business, I say lets do this and we are going to implement that tomorrow.  There is no reason in the world that it takes ten years to make a change.  I’ve been around and there was SETA Days and the JTPA and now it’s the Ticket to Work and I don’t think that any of these folks that are in charge, have ever taken the time to ever help someone find a job that has a disabilities.  Everybody has the right answer, but nobody knows how to put it into play.

 Brian Therrien:     Mmhmm.

Jeffrey S. Klare:    So it was the mechanics of the system that clearly have to be changed.  They need to bring in the corporate leadership that knows how to put a business plan in place and make it happen and that’s really the way that it needs to go forward.

Brian Therrien:    So when and if they do, your attention would be refocused. 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    I don’t mean a free hamburger.

Brian Therrien:    Yeah.  Okay great.   Let’s move on to the core of our discussion today.  You run a wonderful business found on the internet under www.hireds.com

Jeffrey S. Klare:    That’s correct.

Brian Therrien:    Now, what I want to understand is for the audience that is out there, or somebody with a disability that either has a job or wants to get a better job or wants to get a raise.  Somebody that it out of the work force.  Give us the elevator pitch, the quick answer.  What are you doing and how can you help them?

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Well, again our emphasis is on the corporate side.  We know twenty years ago many parents never thought that their disabled son or daughter was going to go on and graduate college and have all this technical stuff at their disposal.  Today, technical equipment, accessible equipment, adaptive equipment is at everybody’s fingertips and it makes the workplace become harmonious for the disable person and the non-disabled person to work side by side.  What we want to make sure is that the company understands how to retain the employee with the disability.  That there is a organization, ours, HiredDS, that they can turn to if there’s a situation on accessibility that the workplace has the accommodations built into it and is fully accessible.  So we really address the corporate concern and find the most skilled workers.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    That’s the bottom line. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Skills get jobs Brian, not a disability. 

 

Brian Therrien:    So, unlike other solutions that I’ve seen out there, where they might be a job board that post’s both jobs and is targeted towards a disability resume’s, people with disabilities and their resumes.  You go out and focus on the corporate side and making sure that they are open, accessible, compliance, etc.  Those are the jobs that you concentrate on filling.  Am I correct in that?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    That is correct, it might be that we need to write a disability policy in top their diversity initiative.  It might mean that we have to rewrite the job description.  It might mean that we have to retool the workplace to include disabilities. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    I mean, not every disability, when you look at the national or international sign for a person with a disability is a wheelchair, but not every person with a disability is in a wheelchair.

 

Brian Therrien:    Correct.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    So we need to make sure that things that people don’t think of are thought of and my example would be, everybody says that well we need a ramp to get into the building, but their computer might not have screen readers or voice activated software.

 

Brian Therrien:    Okay.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    And we make sure that everything is covered so regardless of the disability the employer is accepting of that individual.

 

Brian Therrien:    Fantastic. Fantastic. So, tell me, what’s your primary focus right now, I mean, what is it that you spend your time concentrating on in your business to make this work. 

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Well, you know there are employers out there that are great employers.  I don’t want to get into specific companies, there are many that are looking to recruit talent.  The problem is that the system is broken and for many, many years, it’s only been the responsibility of a not for profit agency to solicit resume’s or candidates and provide that to the employer.  And they don’t really teach in human resources the area of disability and employment, so there becomes a group of people that really don’t know each others jargon.  So you have a vocational counsellor on one side that 90% of the time, has never worked in a corporation and a corporate human resource person, who has really never worked with people with disabilities 90% of the time.  So when you say to a person that I need somebody with WYSIWYG, which is a Lotus compatible program, that vocational counsellor, might not have ever heard of it and that’s what creates the problem is that we need to bring the two together.  But it’s more about giving people the opportunity that have a disability to give them the potential career interests and opportunities that so many of us, you know, are brought up to understand that is what we are going to live, because that’s what will feed our families and pay our mortgages or our rent and go forward.  So, when a child with a disability, they need to be put onto that track at an early age, just the way that all other children are.  Special education and segregating that person from the other kids, I don’t think that is a good idea.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    I think that we need to give kids the opportunity to be part of the mainstream, because in the workplace, there is no separate area for people with disability.  It’s one workplace for everybody.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    And the commitment is that we need to move those kids forward so that career opportunities are not pushed to another side of the fence.

 

Brian Therrien:    Very good and I know that you didn’t want to reference any companies, but I have been on your site and gone through in my research and found that you have got loads of very nice blue chip companies and a nice selection there.  Which brings me to my next topic, you have this wonderful association with www.monster.com, one of the leaders in the employment industry for posting jobs.  Tell us about that.  How it works and what the benefit is for the listener with your association with Monster?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Well, we did our homework first and we looked at all the national career networks.  That’s what we call it a career network.  It’s not a job board.  Job boards are just passive poster job post your resume and lets see if we can put something to hit the wall.

 

Brian Therrien:    Exactly.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    What we’re really trying to do is we work very closely with Monster to make sure that the employers, the thousands of employers that work for them have the opportunity to work with us to make sure that their workplace is accessible.  That any question regarding accommodations or people with disabilities or the seeking out of skilled and quality workers, we get involved.  Monster has made sure that we are going to be one of their strategic partners for both their short and the long term, to make sure this community is not left out of the game plan.  I salute Monster in everything that they do to make sure that people with disabilities are recruited.

 

Brian Therrien:    So, if a person with disability comes to your site to; www.hireds.com posts a resume.  That resume is then available both on your site and also through the Monster network, is that correct? 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Yeah. That is correct, but it really is again, our focus is on the employers side and we know Monster has a large web spread out internationally with companies from as far away as Sweden to Los Angeles and we want to make sure, regardless of who the employer is that they are given every tool and every opportunity to find the best candidate and we believe that we have some of the best candidates.  We work with programs all over the country, universities, alumni associations that focus on disabled graduates.  Say, you need an engineer, we’re going to have an engineer for you.  The fact that the person has a disability, it doesn’t eliminate the fact that they have great engineering skills. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.   Excellent.  So, just a quick recap at this point.  The key thing that I see here that you’re doing different is you’re focusing on the employer side, making sure that the employer is in the right situation setup and has got everything in line to accept and take advantage of employing a person with disabilities.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    And as simple as that is.  I mean, if you have one job and ten thousand candidates, the end result is that one person gets the job. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    You got ten thousand jobs and hundreds of candidates, well then maybe everybody will be employed.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm. So in addition to doing that, you’ve spread out and created a large audience with the associate with Monster.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    That’s correct.

 

Brian Therrien:    What other things have you done that is different and unique that makes your business so successful.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    I’ll give you a great thing that we are doing on October first.  Is, I am going to be riding a bicycle from New York to Washington D.C. at the start of Disability Employment Awareness Month.  What we are going to do with Monster is one of the sponsors, as well as, other major corporations is to put a visual on the fact that we need jobs.  People with disabilities need to go to work, need to have career opportunities.  They need to feed their families and by my riding that three hundred miles.  I am hoping that people will join me along the way and promote their organizations and themselves to show that, whatever the hurdle is, people with disabilities can overcome it.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm. Excellent.  Now, I know that you are really just getting the whole, the business is just getting fired up, but still you are putting a lot of people out there to work.  Any idea how many that you can share with the audience that you’ve put to work in the last month or year?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Sure.  You know Brian, November is, this past November one of the things that we do here in New York City, is we have a program called the Disability Program Navigator Initiative and that’s a contract with the New York State Department of Labor.  What we do is guide people to employment.  We have been getting an influx of young men and women coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq, newly disabled, and yet they have risked their lives for this country and for the people that live here.  We had to do something.  So we partnered with the New York Times, we created the first Veterans Career Expo titled Salute Our Heroes and we had over 7000 people descend on the Jacob Javis Convention Center.  We found jobs for approximately 500 of those 7000 and those candidates are still being interviewed and recruited as we speak, although its six months later.   We really, really want to make a difference and we’ve placed over 2000 candidates in the last 24 months.

 

Brian Therrien:    2000 candidates in the last 24 months.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Yeah, and we don’t see that slowing down at all.  We see companies increasing their usage of our services.  We see them coming to us more and more, not only to talk about employment but how to they line up with the consumer movement.  What we tell companies is that you’re not going to get a person to spend money with your company unless you have them working there.  You got to be the good citizen.  So, we know that our strategic plan is to grow our business significantly over the next 12 to 24 to 36 months and we see many, many more employers coming to our fold, so to speak, to recruit candidates.  It’s a very difficult job market with many positions.  They say within the Washington D.C. – Baltimore corridor, there are 15 thousand open positions, so we believe that we can help find those candidates.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.  The labor pool, there are some figures that show that the labor pool is actually shrinking.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Yes, and as the baby boomers start to retire in large numbers, that number will significantly increase.  We know that there are candidates that we want to help,

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    We know how to help them.  We know how to help the employers engage them. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    So this isn’t major brain surgery, this is like making a marriage.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.  Very nice.  Now, here’s a question that we’re commonly asked.  Those that are out there are on Social Security Disability, they are getting back benefits.  The concern about going back to work and how much they can work and how it will affect their benefits.  Do you provide any guidance in that area? 

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Yeah, we do.  We work with other organizations that can provide that information as well.  We say to people that if you come on to our site and post something on Ask the Expert, we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.  Each individual is different.  The accommodations are different and what we want to make sure is that we know the whole story.  Most people are guided through the system by either; a social worker or vocational counsellor.  Many of the people that come to us don’t know where their benefits come from.  Whether it’s private insurance; whether it’s SSDI or SSI or SSD or Veterans benefits.  There are so many different benefit opportunities, we want to make sure that the person is totally understanding what they are allowed within that confine.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm. Excellent.  Excellent.  Great.  Now, another question that is asked; if somebody is in the position and they want to get back into the workplace, that one of the keys as you go through your site is, go in and post your resume and we’ll go in and talk a little more about that in a minute.  But, if somebody doesn’t have a resume.  What help can you provide for them?  Maybe they have a resume and it needs to be tuned up and made attractive.  Can you help them?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Sure.  I just want to step back for one second.  I’ve never gone to a party where someone didn’t ask me what do I do for a living.  In terms of people that are receiving Social Security Benefits, one of the important concerns is what society expects from people.  For me to go to a party and say to someone, well, I receiving Social Security and that’s what I do for a living.  You’re sort of shunned at that point.  What we want people to so is to understand that there are benefits to employment that go beyond just the pay check.  That getting into work on Monday morning and greeting your co-workers, there’s an uplift to that.  By doing a days work, by being involved in the socialization of employment, there’s a benefit to that.  When you go home at night and you put your head on the pillow and you’re tired from a full day, there’s a benefit to that as well.  So, I just want people to know that if they need to contact us, and to talk openly and honestly about going back to work, that’s what we do.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.  That’s an excellent point.  More to it then the money.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    It’s much more then that. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Yeah, I agree.  Okay, let’s revisit the resume topic.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Well, the resume, that’s a simple process.  We have a resume tool on our website that people can utilize, help them format a resume.  They can contact us for questions about how to put a resume together. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    We can help them to do a profile.  They can do a chronological resume.  They can do a technical resume.  There are so many different formats.  A person might have had volunteer experience and not real paid employment.  We can highlight what they can bring to the workplace.  Again, what’s important is the attitude.  Many people that I’ve dealt with, with disabilities have been on many, many, many interviews, through many different sources and they come to us finally and say; you know, I’m angry.  I can’t find a job.  Well, you can’t find your new employer at an interview that anger level.  You’ve got to be positive and upbeat.  You’ve got to be able to have self-esteem and walk in there and say.  I can do the job, and that’s what employers look at; good employees that have a positive attitude that will be able to be taught new things and not the person that comes in there and say; I can’t do it.  I don’t want to do it.  I’m only here because I have to do it.

 

Brian Therrien:    Uh-huh.  Yep. 

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    That goes for the whole job pool, the employment pools, whether you have or you don’t have a disability, the bottom line is that you’ve got to have that right attitude. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Sure, makes total sense.  Now, what about, today’s world is so technology driven, you’ve got everything online and it’s a wonderful tool, but there are some that not comfortable and are just getting used to it.  Are there ways that they could get help with their resume if they are not computer savvy?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Sure.  There are many organizations, 9 to 5 clubs to different state vocational agencies that help people with resumes.  There are non-profit’s out there that certainly do provide assistance, continuing education programs at the community college.  There are so many places that offer that assistance.  We’re just one of many, many.

 

Brian Therrien:    Okay. 

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    We certainly can make the recommendation in a local community.  There are things called a career, one-stop system, that offer those services.  So anybody who needs, we point them in that direction to get help. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.  So the message that I’m hearing, I want to be sure I’m in the right direction.  If you have a resume, go to your site and post it and get into the game. Right?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    That’s right.

 

Brian Therrien:    If you don’t have a resume, you guys can help out.  Or somebody at a local state agency can also help out, but the key is open up an account, it’s free.  Post your resume and so people can find out about you.  Right?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    That’s right.  It really is a simple process.  Employment, finding a job is about networking. It’s about being in the game and not being passive.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm. 

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    One of the new things that we are going to be offering in the next two to three weeks is an online catalogue for accessible products.  So employers no longer have an excuse to say; well I can’t find a Braille keyboard or a sign language interpreting services or whatever the category is.  We are going to be able to provide that to employers.

 

Brian Therrien:    Nice idea, completes the package.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Completes the package, you cant go to a staples and buy accessible products 99% of the time so we need to fill that void, so that employers don’t have to surf the internet and go to a hundred different sites and try to find a multitude of different types of equipment. 

 

Brian Therrien:    So for people with disabilities that are looking for these accessories, they could find them on your site, are they available?  Can they purchase them there?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    This is directly online, with the use of a credit card or a debit card.

 

Brian Therrien:    Yep.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    But we are also going to be working out alternatives. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Okay.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    So that if the person does not have a credit card, they will be able to do this by mail.

 

Brian Therrien:    Oh good, good.  Great. Now, let’s talk about the employers that are out there.  Some of the benefits that might be good for people with disabilities to know about, you know, that employers might not know about and why they might want to hire them. Does that question make sense? 

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Oh totally.   There’s quite a few issues within that question that I want to address.  The first one is employers, most of the time, are not aware of the tax incentive for hiring an individual with a disability onto their full-time payroll.  Several years ago, J.C. Penney recouped almost 14 million dollars in taxes.

 

Brian Therrien:    14 Million.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:   14 million and you know, that’s not just chicken scratch.

 

Brian Therrien:    Yeah.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    That’s a significant amount of money to a large corporation in tax deductions.  There’s opportunities to hire veterans.  There’s opportunities to hire, for many of the protected groups that when you are hiring that person on a full-time basis that you could take advantage of a tax credit.  But then many of the vocational agencies also have trial work periods that an employer can tap into.  So that for the first 30 days of employment.  The employer will be reimbursed 100% exempt would be the first week, 75% for the second, 50% for the third and 25% for the fourth.  So that they are getting that try and buy opportunity.

 

Brian Therrien:    Who is reimbursing them?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    The state vocational agencies.  It differs from state to state and again, if somebody wants to contact me we will do the research for that company.  But here in New York State there is a program that exists for reimbursement. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Okay.  I just want to make sure that I understand this, so on a state by state basis you could help somebody find out if they want to.  But you could certainly help the company find out what they would be reimbursed for going through and hiring somebody, a person with a disability.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Sure. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Wow.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    In many situations, a person with a disability that might need an accessible product to go to work.  That would be covered by vocational agencies.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    So, you know, we need to make sure, especially with Medicade and Medicare, many of them have waivers in place so that person can return to work, retain their Medicade/Medicare program and not have to worry about pre-existing condition clauses.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    So again, it has to do with certain dollar amounts in what a person can earn before that it’s eliminated, but its pretty significant the amounts of money one can earn.  So we need to make sure, then again, it’s an individual case by case basis and people need to contact us to find out the answers.

 

Brian Therrien:    Do you feel it’s sound advice to instruct somebody looking for a job, a person with disabilities to make themselves aware of the benefits that the potential employer would have by hiring them?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    I don’t normally instruct people to discuss the area of their disability during the interview.

 

Brian Therrien:    Okay. 

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    I’m really more on the side of, let’s give the person the skill they are looking for.  Let’s talk to the employer about the benefits of hiring the individual.  What can you do for the company?  And then, if you get the job offer, then discuss the accommodations.

 

Brian Therrien:    Okay. 

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Let the professionals discuss the tax ramifications and the other benefits of hiring a group of people.  But once you start to create a spotlight on yourself, that there is a disability and I need special accommodations and that becomes the focal point of the interview, chances are when you go to call the company, they are not going to return the call.

 

Brian Therrien:    Well, you know, that make sense to me and leads me to my next area of questioning.  That people commonly say that I’ve been to an interview in a company on four of five interviews.  I did just a fantastic job and I left the last interview feeling that hands-down I was going to get this job and I didn’t and it happens a lot.   Can you speak to that?  I mean, what are some types that you can provide in that area?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Well first of all, discrimination is clearly out there.  There’ still discrimination towards African Americans and Latinos and clearly for people with disabilities.  We’re not going to change that overnight, but in the course of an interview, what you have to do is focus on what the interviewer is concerned with.  That’s by having a person in the workplace for an extended period of time.  Make sure your resume indicates skills that you’re offering an employer and that if there’s a potential of a problem because the person skipped jobs or moved on from job to job over a short period of time, come up with a resume that really highlights the skills.  It’s the skills that the employers are looking for.  It’s the attitude of the person.  Make sure that the person is well groomed and well prepared.  I’ve seen candidates go for an interview in a law firm and say, wow I would love to work in this advertising agency.  You gotta do your homework.  You gotta know where the company is based and the history of the company and the kid of products that they carry and when you’re that well versed and you show a recruiter that you really care that much, chances are you are going to get the job more often then not. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    But I’ve interviewed over the years and have been poorly prepared and really not done their homework and are just on an interview for the interview sake.  And its easy to complain after the fact that I’ve been on five interviews and didn’t get the job and you really need to step back and analyse what you think might be the problem.

 

Brian Therrien:    So if I’m hearing this correctly.  I’ll feed it back in an example.  If somebody has been, maybe on three jobs in the last eighteen months.  That is acceptable, or could be presented in a very positive fashion if, within those three jobs the primary skill that they utilized, that are their true employment assets are focused in the resume.  Is that what I’m hearing?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Yeah, you know, you’ve increased customer service and your ability to resolve complaints by 22%.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    It’s the skill and the attitude that shows where that person is going in their career.  The fact that they have been with three different organizations, that doesn’t change the fact that the person is a good employee.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    That’s what we look for.  Sometimes we make poor choices of who we are going to work for.  That’s not our responsibility.

 

Brian Therrien:    Sometimes you just can’t; you don’t know that until you get in there and sense the environment. I would think, right?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    When I was in college, one of the things that one of my professors said that an interview is nothing more then two people lying to each other.

 

Brian Therrien:    {chuckle}

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    We just need to realize that the employer is always going to be the best employer in the universe, as well as, you are the best candidate for the job.  Sometimes you just have to say to yourself; let me look at this employer. Let me do my homework. What was their turnover ratio last year and all that information is available to people.

 

Brian Therrien:    Okay.  

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    You know, when you take the time to really think about interviewing as a job in itself, you do better.

 

Brian Therrien:   Yep. Yep.  As well as, be very well groomed when you go in and be well prepared.  For example, if I’m thinking of it, then the preparation wants to be their area of work as relation to what is going on in the marketplace.  If it’s on the marketing side, they want to look at new products that are being launched.  Is this company growing and where are the areas for opportunities that they can take their skills and inject those.  Am I in the right area here?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:   Absolutely Brian.  If you pull out a resume from your pocket and it’s all crumpled up that’s the way your work is going to be and you’re not going to get the job.  You have to look at everything.  I would say that my biggest pet peeve is when a person is not on time for an interview. That means that they are going to be late almost everyday and 99% of the time I bear the truth in that. 

Brian Therrien:    Yeah. Yup.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    So get up early in the morning, make sure you’ve done your homework.  Make sure you’ve dressed appropriately and get to the interview before you are supposed to be there and allow for delays.  You know, the New York City subway is always late, always.  It’s the person that gets on them too late that’s not prepared. If you get yourself there a little bit early and have yourself a cup of coffee or a cup of tea, then you are ready to go.  Make sure that you understand that a 9 o’clock interview doesn’t mean you show up at 9 o’clock, because you’ve got to fill out the application.

 

Brian Therrien:    So what I am hearing is there is really a lot of things that are within the control of the person that is looking for the job. You have to make sure you are right on top of it.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Absolutely, it’s a job.

 

Brian Therrien:    Yeah.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    You’ve got to make sure this is what you want to do.  If you are going for a receptionist job and you say to the person that I’d like to be the director of marketing, then why would you be a receptionist.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Make sure that you are very focused in what the job is. What is entails.  Everything else will fall into place if you are truly the best candidate.

 

Brian Therrien:    Great advice.   Let’s talk about a distant cousin to getting a job, there’s a whole movement out there in the United States about working at home.  There’s a lot of benefits to it.  How do you see that as a viable way for a person with disabilities to earn an income?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Well, and we thought that out on our website, there’s a whole piece on entrepreneurial opportunities.  Whether you want to franchise a Dunkin Donuts or some other franchise, but we talk about this.  There is money available in every state for entrepreneurial situations for people with disabilities.  There’s money available at the Small Business Administration, but you really got to understand that there are many pitfalls for home employment and what you have to realize is nothing in life is free.  So starting you own little company, you must be prepared.  You must be prepared to take taxes and have insurances and to make sure that your product will be delivered in a timely fashion.  One thing that you have to make sure of, is any organization that promises you that you’re going to make a hundred dollars an hour, is probably not telling you the truth. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    So what is it that you want to do from home?  Is it answering 800 numbers?  Is it selling products?  Is it customer service or reservations?  The Jet Blue model was a beautiful one that all reservationists that work for Jet Blue, work from home and you get paid for when you log in and when you log off the computer.  So there is a lot of opportunity there but you have to make sure that you’ve done your homework again.  You’ve done the research.  You’ve thought this through and you’re going to be competitive.  There’s a lot of opportunity to be misguided when you work at home.  TV, Radio, potentially kids, people knocking at the door, friends calling, personal phone calls.  You have to be a very focused individual to make it work.

 

Brian Therrien:    Okay, it sounds like, from reading on your site that a lot of people with disabilities are making it work according to census statistics.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    And they are, with the technical advances in the computer systems and being able to be tied into different corporation websites, whether it be order servicing for a retailer or customer service for a large corporation. There is competition.  This whole Ebay thing has created opportunity. Online auction house, opportunity.  So you just need to figure out what that niche is going to be for you and how you are going to address all of the pitfalls and to make sure that you have the designated time to do it at home.

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.  Good.  There’s information on your site, as you mentioned, that helps people understand this and to guide them to see if it’s for them, right?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Luckily, we’re in an international business climate.  So if you are in New York and there’s a company in Los Angeles, you can work later.   Same thing with Europe.  So, just make sure that you pick out that choice and make that choice work for you. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Have a business plan.

 

Brian Therrien:    Good advice. Is there funding out there for people that want to start their own business?  Are you aware of that?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:   Sure.  What you first have to do is create that business, because you don’t want to walk into a funder and say; I woke up in the middle of the night and I had a dream, because nobody is going to give you money for that.  So what you have to do is put it on paper.  What is it that you can provide, to whom and how much and how?  Once you have all of those answered, the questions and there’s many formats online that a person can have access to or go to their local vocational agency or their career one-stop center’s and there will be there to help in the creation of a business plan.  Once that’s available, many state agencies, whether it be the Department of Small Business Services or Community Affairs, or Department of Education, Small Business Administration make grants available to people with disabilities to become self employed.  There are set aside programs to make sure that people with disabilities have their right to sell to city, state and federal agencies.  So, you just got to again, make sure that all your T’s crossed and I’s dotted and move forward.

 

Brian Therrien:    Interesting.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    In a specific plan.

 

Brian Therrien:    Yep, bottom line is there’s resources out there.  If you have a good business plan, there’s all kinds of help.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    As long as you have a plan.

 

Brian Therrien:    Yep.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    People will be behind you.  Its those that dream up a plan but never put it into writing and don’t have an understand of what costs are. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Sure.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Nobody is going to fund that.

 

Brian Therrien:    As we get ready to close up there, I just want to understand from you, in addition to the ability for someone to come and post a resume and find great qualified companies; you’re also going to be providing access to accessibility equipment on your site.  Is it available right now?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    We’re formatting it with our computer programmers as we speak.  It’ll probably be up and running in about two weeks and we’re also going to be introducing webinar’s that people will be able to hear guest speakers from time to time and be able to ask real time questions and get real time responses from experts in the area.

 

Brian Therrien:    How’s a webinar work?  How does somebody; they call in or listen in?  How does it work?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Well, they would sign on the website and they would email the questions in to the facilitator.  The facilitator would have that question posted up on the web and then the expert would respond back to that specific question.  But everybody would have that same opportunity to view it on a national basis.

 

Brian Therrien:    So they would be viewing the answers, or can you listen to them?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Yes, they would be viewing.

 

Brian Therrien:   Viewing the answers. So this is a live event where people can come in and post a written question and get an answer from an expert.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Correct.

 

Brian Therrien:    Fantastic.  That’s all through the site. That’s a nice little service that you charge?  Is there going to be a fee for that?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    No, no fee for that.  We just want people to have their answers.  If we can put more people back to work and more people into higher-level jobs then we’ve done our job, everything.

 

Brian Therrien:    What areas might you have experts show up and offer their advice for.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Well, it runs the gamut, from writing a business plan to writing a resume to asking about Veterans benefits to Social Security.  We’re going to have experts in different areas be available so the general public out there.  The people with disabilities that need that information need to contact us and say; we’d like to see an expert on the following subject and we’ll find that expert into the mix.

 

Brian Therrien:    How does somebody learn about the webinars?  Are you posting a schedule?  Is there an email notification?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    As people sign up for the newsletter they will then get an email notification of the next week’s guest speaker.

 

Brian Therrien:    Okay, great. This all happens when you register, all for free, right?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Yes, everything is for free, there is no cost to signing up and even the newsletter that goes out on a monthly basis, which we are introducing in July. That will all be at no cost.

 

Brian Therrien:    very nice.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    The only thing that is going to cost is if you buy a product.

 

Brian Therrien:    Okay. One other thing.  You have shared a wealth of tips and tricks for getting a job or if you have a job, how to get a raise.  How to advance your career. Are there any other little inside tips and trick that you might have that you might share?  I mean, this is wonderful information, that you can think of before we depart today?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Well, there is one simple one. Never stop learning.  A career is only going to become a career as opposed to a job if you can continue to bring wealth to your organization.  To be competitive, you need to keep coming up with advanced knowledge.  So whether it be adult learning, whether it be from a local community college or going through a classical library or staying on top of new books that have come out.  You’ve got to stay on top, because competitiveness is not just a one day thing, it goes on forever.  In order for you to be in the workplace, they need to know they can count on you to be innovative and bring new and fresh information to the organization. 

 

Brian Therrien:    Mmhmm.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    So my bottom line is, never stop learning.

 

Brian Therrien:    That’s excellent.  It’s a competitive world out there, so you’ve got to be competitive, right?

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    You must be competitive. Anybody that says it’s not, is not telling you the truth.

 

Brian Therrien:    Right.  Excellent. Well, in closing, I guess the best message I can tell people is that if you want to take advantage of this wonderful resource, just log on to your website and tell us that address again?  

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:     www.hireds.com

 

Brian Therrien:   Okay and log on and you can follow right through and everybody will see where to go to open an account and post a resume.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Absolutely, it’s a very simple process and we’re looking forward to bringing in more participants.  The bottom line Brian, the larger the pool of candidates, the more opportunity and we can’t tell you that we need skilled employees.  The jobs are easy to find.  The new positions that are becoming available, we need people with skills.

 

Brian Therrien:    Excellent.  Well, we think there is a great audience out there for this and in closing I want to thank you for taking time out of your very busy day.  You’ve done some wonderful thing and are just really getting started, so thank you on behalf of everybody looking for a job in advancing your career and taking this time Jeff. I really appreciate it.

 

Jeffrey S. Klare:    Thank you Brian for allowing us to do this.

 

Brian Therrien:    Great. Thanks.


            End  to the interview